Creating the Perfect Real Estate WordPress Theme: Key Features and Tips
As a developer who has created real estate WordPress themes since 2008, I have learned what buyers and real estate agents want in terms of features and ease of use. When brainstorming a new theme, it is important to think about the end-user and what they need. In this article, I will cover the key points and features that make up the perfect real estate WordPress theme.
1. Powerful Search Utility
The search utility is usually the first thing that users look for when they visit a real estate website. Therefore, it is essential to make it easy to find. In my WP Pro Real Estate 4 theme, the search utility is prominently displayed on the homepage, preventing users from getting lost while searching for what they want.
2. Agent & Broker Contact Information
Once a user finds a property they are interested in, the next step is to contact the agent or broker. To make this process easy, I have created Agent Info and Broker Information widgets for both my WP Pro Real Estate 3 and WP Pro Real Estate 4 themes. This allows agents and brokers to place their contact information in any of the 10 widget-ready areas, ensuring that they won’t miss out on a potential sale.
3. Responsive Web Design
With more and more people browsing the internet on mobile devices, it is essential to have a website that is optimized for all screen sizes. Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design that ensures an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices, from desktop computer monitors to tablets and mobile phones. My WP Pro Real Estate 4 theme is an excellent example of RWD, providing an easy-to-navigate experience on any device.
4. Featured Listing
Every agent or brokerage has a few listings that they want to feature prominently on their website. In my WP Pro Real Estate 4 theme, I have included a carousel of featured listings on the homepage, as well as a featured spot atop the listing search results. Additionally, I have included a flexible listings widget that allows users to choose from various taxonomy types and set a certain tag to pull from.
5. Listing Detail Template
The listing detail or single template is an essential element of any real estate website. It needs to be a tight and focused layout that provides all the necessary information in an easily digestible format. In my experience, the following hierarchy of elements works best:
– Previous/Next Listings Navigation
– Main Content Area
– Street Address, City, State, Zip/Postcode
– Bed, Bath, Sq Ft or M2, MLS or ID #
– Slider of Images
– Listing Blurb (Post Content)
– Listing Features
– Location (Google Maps)
– Sidebar (Widgets)
– Agent Info
– Broker Info
– Mortgage Calculator
– Request a Showing (Contact Form)
– Agents Other Listings
6. Agent Template
The agent template is an excellent way to showcase an agent’s contact and bio information, along with a large map of their listings. In my WP Pro Real Estate 4 theme, I have included an author.php template that provides all this information in an easy-to-navigate format.
7. Layout & Customization Options
Finally, it is essential to offer users layout and customization options. In my WP Pro Real Estate 4 theme, I have included left column, right column, and three-column layouts that can be chosen on a per-page or per-section basis. Additionally, I have included an extensive admin framework that allows users to customize their theme to fit their specific needs.
In conclusion, creating the perfect real estate WordPress theme requires careful consideration of the end-user’s needs and preferences. By including powerful search utilities, agent and broker contact information, responsive web design, featured listings, a well-designed listing detail template, an agent template, and layout and customization options, you can create a theme that meets the needs of both buyers and real estate agents.